Early team news: Wigan Athletic v Peterborough United
John Sheridan has challenged his players to match the performance levels at Charlton on Saturday as Wigan Athletic prepare to host two promotion contenders in the space of four days.
Tuesday night’s game against fourth-placed Peterborough is swiftly followed by Saturday’s visit of sixth-placed Plymouth.
After three defeats in a row, Latics could do with picking up points as quickly as possible to remain above the drop zone in the fledgling League One table.
But Sheridan was happy enough with what he saw at the Valley to allow for some optimism.
“The games come thick and fast in this league, and all of the teams are so evenly matched,” he said.
“We’ve got two more games to come over the next week, against two teams who have started well, and we need to take that level of performance into them.
“You would say based on Saturday’s performance, we will win more games than we lose. But again we came away with nothing, and there’s no excuses.
“We need to get back to winning ways, and the desire the players have shown is a big plus for me.”
Sheridan could hand a debut to new signing Matty Palmer against Posh, after landing the Swindon midfielder on loan until January.
Palmer’s arrival should allow youngsters Chris Merrie and Alex Perry the chance to take stock after a hectic period, with the Charlton game the first time neither has featured this season.
“They’re young players, and they’ve already played more games than they would have thought,” acknowledged Sheridan.
“They’ve both done well while they’ve been in the team, but sometimes when you’re young things catch up with you.
“I just felt Charlton was the time to give them a little rest, and we’ve also got Matty coming in, who’s an excellent player.
“It gives us more competition in midfield, and whoever I pick hopefully will perform.
“Matty’s a quality player, I’ve had him before at Oldham, and he’ll be in contention for Tuesday.”
Tom Pearce is also expected back after missing the trip to Charlton through injury.
“On Friday, he reported a sore groin, which obviously upset our shape a little bit,” added the Latics boss.
“It was a late decision to bring in Gav (Massey) – who I thought was excellent, probably our best player – to the defence, and move Tom (James) to left-back.
“But with the small squad we’ve got, that’s the kind of thing you have to do.
“People will have to switch positions on occasion, and they’re all professionals, they’re all able to do that.
“Hopefully Tom will be all right for Tuesday.”
Special offer: Get 15% off our digital sports subscription - read unlimited Wigan Athletic and Wigan Warriors stories for less than 60p a week! Click here